Skip to main content

Egypt's military rulers slam 'baseless slander' by Muslim Brotherhood

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 26, 2012 -- Updated 0050 GMT (0850 HKT)
This file picture dated January 6, 1996 shows Kamal al-Ganzuri speaking at a press conference in Cairo.
This file picture dated January 6, 1996 shows Kamal al-Ganzuri speaking at a press conference in Cairo.
  • Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood questions why military rulers back the prime minister
  • Military rulers respond, calling the group's claims "baseless" and "unacceptable"
  • The military has held most power in Egypt since Hosni Mubarak's ouster
  • The Muslim Brotherhood earned a majority of seats in parliamentary elections

(CNN) -- Egypt's military rulers slammed as "baseless slander" recent criticisms from the popular Muslim Brotherhood, saying Sunday that it was wrong to question its intentions regarding the "integrity" of upcoming elections.

The statement was a rare and charged public response from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which claimed that in the past it refused "to comment on these lies, out of its belief that the great Egyptian military's status is above verbal jousting with a faction or group."

The military leaders said they will "spare no effort to pass through this tough stage."

On Saturday, the Muslim Brotherhood criticized the functioning of Egypt's government and the fact that "executive power remains in the hands of the Supreme Council and the Cabinet" of Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri, even after the elections of a new slate of legislators.

"Although the Ganzouri government had its chance ..., unfortunately it failed even more disastrously, more spectacularly than previous governments," the Muslim Brotherhood said in its statement.

The group then singled out the Supreme Council for "absurdly" supporting Ganzouri despite calls for his resignation.

"(This) raises obvious questions about the secret behind clinging so tenaciously to losers and evident failures. Is it a desire to abort the revolution and destroy the people's belief in their ability to achieve their goals? Or is there an intention to defraud or influence the forthcoming presidential election?" the Muslim Brotherhood asked rhetorically.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party gained a majority of seats in parliamentary elections earlier this year. But since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak -- and in advance of the election later this spring to select the country's next president -- much of the political authority in Egypt has rested and still rests with its military leaders.

The Supreme Council fired back in its own statement Sunday, saying, "Attempts to question (our) intentions regarding the integrity of the coming presidential elections and the popular referendum on the Constitution are mere baseless slander."

The military leaders argued that they "planned and carried out last year's legislative elections with a transparency that was acclaimed by everyone." They said that this shows their commitment to having Egypt's population freely decide the nation's political future.

"It is unacceptable to talk about threats to challenge the constitutional legitimacy of the parliament," the Supreme Council added.

The military leadership expressed faith that Egypt's citizens recognize their efforts and their magnanimous intentions over the tumultuous period leading up to and since Mubarak's exit.

"The Egyptian population knows well who protected its dignity and pride, and who always put the people's best interests before anything else," the military leaders said. "Some falsely believe that they can pressure the armed forces and the Supreme Council with the intention of making them abandon their national mission to rule the country during the transitional period."

Journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
April 12, 2012 -- Updated 0052 GMT (0852 HKT)
Egypt's administrative court has suspended the country's 100-member constitutional assembly. What does that say about the country's progress toward political reform?
April 11, 2012 -- Updated 1727 GMT (0127 HKT)
On February 1, riots at a football match in Port Said plunged Egypt into mourning and despair -- the future of one of African soccer's traditional powerhouses seemed bleak.
February 2, 2012 -- Updated 1046 GMT (1846 HKT)
Political tensions flare after more than 70 people die and hundreds are injured when fans riot at a soccer match in the Egyptian city of Port Said.
February 4, 2012 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
Fans storm on to the pitch during riots that erupted after the football match between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly.
The scenes in Port Said will leave an indelible mark on post-revolution Egypt because soccer matters more here than anywhere, argues James Montague.
An Egyptian photographer found himself in the middle of the Arab Spring. Months after the demonstrations died down, he returned to document what had changed.
January 25, 2012 -- Updated 1948 GMT (0348 HKT)
The protests in Egypt that toppled Hosni Mubarak began one year ago today. But some are asking now: What's the difference?
January 25, 2012 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
An Egyptian girl shouts slogans against the military in Cairo's Tahrir Square on December 23, 2011 as people gathered for a mass rally against the ruling military, which sparked outrage when its soldiers were taped beating women protesters.
It's been a year since the mass protests started in Egypt but one author says the seeds of revolution were sown years ago.
January 25, 2012 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
Many Egyptians wonder if the revolution amounted to nothing more than a military coup, writes Aladdin Elaasar, a former professor and author.
January 22, 2012 -- Updated 1214 GMT (2014 HKT)
Egypt's first democratically elected parliament is to meet Monday - but that is not the end of the country's revolution.
January 23, 2012 -- Updated 2130 GMT (0530 HKT)
A look at some of the moments from the first 18 days of upheaval in Egypt that culminated in political change.